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Zuma Insists He Did Nothing Wrong With Home Upgrade: ‘Why Should I Pay?’

Satellite images showed Mr Zuma's growing residence. Credit: bbc.co.uk/Getty

Satellite images showed Mr Zuma’s growing residence. Credit: bbc.co.uk/Getty

South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma has said he did not request a controversial upgrade to his private residence and is asking why he should have to pay for it.

The government ombudsman has said he should repay some of the $23 million of public money used on his residence in Nkandla.

The main opposition party has laid corruption charges against him.

Correspondents say the issue is likely to cost the ANC votes in the May 7 general elections.

But in his first comments since the release of the public protector’s report, Zuma said he had done nothing wrong, insisting instead that it had been the work of government officials.

“They did this without telling me – why should I pay for something I did not ask for?” he said in Xhosa, during a broadcast aired on local private television ANN7.

He was speaking in Cape Town’s Gugulethu township while campaigning door-to-door for the elections.

The report by anti-corruption watchdog Thuli Madonsela found that Zuma had “unduly benefited” from the renovations.

She said the president should repay the money used on non-security features that include a swimming pool, cattle enclosure and chicken run.

The government has always argued that the work was needed to improve security.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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